B-180697, MAR 12, 1975

B-180697: Mar 12, 1975

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SHIPMENT OF AUTO WHICH WERE INCURRED BECAUSE OF UNFORESEEN DELAY CAUSED BY A FERRY STRIKE WHILE THE MEMBER WAS EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION IN ARGENTIA. IS DENIED SINCE VOLUME 1. IN EFFECT AT TIME OF TRAVEL PROVIDED THAT WHEN MILEAGE FOR THE MEMBER'S TRAVEL AND MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL WERE AUTHORIZED IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE OBLIGATED. SUCH ALLOWANCES WERE EXCLUSIVE AND NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED IS AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCES OVER WHICH THE MEMBER HAD NO CONTROL CAUSED THE DELAY RESULTING IN THE INCREASED EXPENSES. USN: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR ADVANCE DECISION FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER.

B-180697, MAR 12, 1975

CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR MOTEL FACILITIES, MEALS, COMMERCIAL AIR TRAVEL, AND SHIPMENT OF AUTO WHICH WERE INCURRED BECAUSE OF UNFORESEEN DELAY CAUSED BY A FERRY STRIKE WHILE THE MEMBER WAS EN ROUTE TO HIS NEW DUTY STATION IN ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, IS DENIED SINCE VOLUME 1, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, IN EFFECT AT TIME OF TRAVEL PROVIDED THAT WHEN MILEAGE FOR THE MEMBER'S TRAVEL AND MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENT'S TRAVEL WERE AUTHORIZED IN LIEU OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE OBLIGATED, SUCH ALLOWANCES WERE EXCLUSIVE AND NO REIMBURSEMENT FOR ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED IS AUTHORIZED EVEN THOUGH UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCES OVER WHICH THE MEMBER HAD NO CONTROL CAUSED THE DELAY RESULTING IN THE INCREASED EXPENSES.

ENTITLEMENT TO ADDITIONAL EXPENSES CAUSED BY FERRY STRIKE - OT1 STEPHEN H. BEYER, USN:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST FOR ADVANCE DECISION FROM THE DISBURSING OFFICER, U. S. NAVAL STATION, ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND, CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF PAYMENT ON A VOUCHER IN THE AMOUNT OF $485.15 SUBMITTED BY OT1 STEPHEN H. BEYER FOR VARIOUS EXPENSES INCURRED INCIDENT TO HIS CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION BECAUSE OF THE UNFORESEEN DISRUPTION OF FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN NORTH SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA, AND THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND. THE REQUEST HAS BEEN ASSIGNED PDTATAC CONTROL NO. 74-11 BY THE PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

BY ORDERS PREPARED ON JUNE 6, 1973, THE MEMBER WAS REASSIGNED FROM THE U. S. NAVAL FACILITY, GRAND TURK, THE WEST INDIES, TO THE NAVAL FACILITY, ARGENTIA, NEWFOUNDLAND. THE MEMBER WAS AUTHORIZED 30 DAYS OF LEAVE, 4 DAYS OF "PROCEED TIME" AND 9 DAYS OF TRAVEL FROM THE MEMBER'S ACTUAL DEPARTURE DATE FROM GRAND TURK ON AUGUST 1, 1973, UNTIL THE MEMBER'S SCHEDULED REPORTING DATE AT ARGENTIA ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1973. THE ORDERS DIRECTED THE MEMBER TO TRAVEL BY GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT TO PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA, AND AUTHORIZED INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL FROM THERE TO ARGENTIA. CONCURRENT TRAVEL OF DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED.

THE MEMBER AND HIS DEPENDENTS ARRIVED AT NORTH SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA, VIA PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE ON AUGUST 23, 1973. UNABLE TO OBTAIN FERRY SERVICE TO THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND, WHERE ARGENTIA IS LOCATED, BECAUSE OF A STRIKE OF FERRY EMPLOYEES, HE AND HIS DEPENDENTS REMAINED AT A MOTEL IN NORTH SYDNEY UNTIL AUGUST 30. ON THAT DATE HE AND HIS DEPENDENTS OBTAINED COMMERCIAL AIR TRANSPORTATION FROM NORTH SYDNEY TO ST. JOHNS, NEWFOUNDLAND. LATER IN THE DAY ON AUGUST 30, THE MEMBER REPORTED FOR DUTY AT THE NAVAL FACILITY, ARGENTIA. SUBSEQUENT TO HIS ARRIVAL AT ARGENTIA THE MEMBER ARRANGED FOR THE SHIPMENT, BY FERRY, OF HIS AUTOMOBILE TO NEWFOUNDLAND.

BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION IN NOVEMBER 1973, THE TIME DURING WHICH THE MEMBER WAS STRANDED IN NORTH SYDNEY WAS RETROACTIVELY CHARGED AS TRAVEL TIME BECAUSE OF "NON-EXISTENCE OF APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION DURING THAT PERIOD."

FOR THE TRAVEL THE MEMBER HAS BEEN PAID A DISLOCATION ALLOWANCE OF $150 AND A TRAVEL ADVANCE OF $168.54, REPRESENTING ADVANCED MILEAGE FOR THE MEMBER FROM PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE TO ARGENTIA. THE ITEMS OF EXPENSE CONSTITUTING THE CLAIM OF $485.15 ARE AS FOLLOWS:

MOTEL, MEALS AND PHONE CALLS $348.40

AIR FARES FOR MEMBER AND 101.75

DEPENDENTS

SHIPMENT OF CAR VIA FERRY 35.00

$485.15

SINCE THE FERRY STRIKE WAS NOT ANTICIPATED BY THE MEMBER AND THE EXPENSES INCURRED WERE NOT FOR HIS CONVENIENCE, THE DISBURSING OFFICER QUESTIONS WHETHER THE EXPENSES MAY BE REIMBURSED.

SECTIONS 404 AND 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDE AUTHORITY FOR THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED TO PRESCRIBE REGULATIONS FOR ENTITLEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO TRANSPORTATION IN KIND, REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, OR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES WHILE TRAVELING WITH THEIR DEPENDENTS UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS. SECTION 411(B) OF THAT TITLE PROVIDES THAT IN ESTABLISHING RATES AND KINDS OF ALLOWANCES AUTHORIZED, THE SECRETARIES SHALL CONSIDER THE AVERAGE COST OF FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS, WHEN PRESCRIBING A MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN PLACE OF TRANSPORTATION, AND WHEN PRESCRIBING MILEAGE RATES, THEY SHALL INCLUDE IN ADDITION, LODGING AND OTHER NECESSARY INCIDENTAL EXPENSES RELATING THERETO. THERE IS NO STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE EXPENSES (SUCH AS FOR QUARTERS AND MEALS) INCURRED BY DEPENDENTS INCIDENT TO THE PERFORMANCE OF TRAVEL AUTHORIZED UNDER CHANGE-OF-STATION ORDERS.

PARAGRAPH M4159-3, 1 JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS (1 JTR), IN EFFECT AT THE TIME, PROVIDED IN PART, THAT A MEMBER TRAVELING UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF- STATION ORDERS BETWEEN A POINT IN THE UNITED STATES AND A POINT ON "THE ISLAND PORTION OF NEWFOUNDLAND" WHO WAS AUTHORIZED TO AND DOES PERFORM TRAVEL BY PRIVATELY OWNED CONVEYANCE, OR WHEN TRAVEL PERFORMED BY SUCH MODE WAS APPROVED, WOULD BE ENTITLED TO THE ALLOWANCES PRESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M4150 FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE INVOLVED.

PARAGRAPH M4150, 1 JTR, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL, PROVIDED THAT A MEMBER TRAVELING ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION UNDER VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES COULD BE AUTHORIZED EITHER (1) MILEAGE AT THE RATE OF SIX CENTS PER MILE; (2) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS PLUS PER DIEM; OR (3) TRANSPORTATION IN KIND OR TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS PLUS MEAL TICKETS. PARAGRAPH M4151 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDED THAT MILEAGE IS AN ALLOWANCE TO COVER THE AVERAGE COST OF FIRST-CLASS TRANSPORTATION INCLUDING SLEEPING ACCOMMODATIONS, COST OF SUBSISTENCE, LODGING AND OTHER INCIDENTAL EXPENSES DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TRAVEL, AND THAT IT IS PAYABLE FOR THE MEMBER'S TRAVEL WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WHEN HE IS AUTHORIZED TO AND DOES PERFORM SUCH TRAVEL AT PERSONAL EXPENSE, REGARDLESS OF THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION UTILIZED.

PARAGRAPH M7000, 1 JTR, PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART, THAT UPON PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION, MEMBERS ARE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. PARAGRAPH M7003-3C, IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE TRAVEL, PROVIDED THAT A MEMBER ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF DEPENDENTS WAS AUTHORIZED A MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR TRAVEL PERFORMED BY DEPENDENTS BETWEEN A POINT IN THE UNITED STATES AND A POINT ON "THE ISLAND PORTION OF NEWFOUNDLAND" FOR THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE INVOLVED. NO ITEMS OF EXPENSE ARE REIMBURSABLE WHEN DEPENDENTS TRAVEL ON A MONETARY ALLOWANCE BASIS SINCE THE ALLOWANCE IS IN LIEU OF ALL TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT OTHERWISE WOULD BE OBLIGATED.

THE REGULATIONS ESTABLISH MILEAGE FOR MEMBERS' TRAVEL AND MONETARY ALLOWANCE FOR DEPENDENTS' TRAVEL AS THE MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE TRAVEL IN QUESTION. NO PROVISION WAS OR IS MADE FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL EXPENSES THAT MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE MEMBER, WITH OR WITHOUT DEPENDENTS, EVEN THOUGH CAUSED BY UNFORESEEN OCCURRENCES THAT MAY HAVE RESULTED IN DELAY AND INCREASED EXPENSES. SEE B-168021, DECEMBER 2, 1969.

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE MEMBER INCURRED EXPENSES NOT NORMALLY ANTICIPATED WHILE TRAVELING WITH DEPENDENTS UNDER PERMANENT CHANGE-OF STATION ORDERS. THESE EXPENSES, HOWEVER, ARE NOT LEGALLY REIMBURSABLE BY THE GOVERNMENT. CONSEQUENTLY, NO AUTHORITY EXISTS FOR PAYMENT OF THE SUBJECT CLAIM. SEE, IN THIS CONNECTION, OUR DECISION OF TODAY IN B- 180567. SINCE PAYMENT OF THE EXPENSES CLAIMED IS NOT AUTHORIZED THE VOUCHERS WILL BE RETAINED HERE.